Documenting the costs of regulatory delays (RE-DELAYS)

Regulatory delays undermine the growth and economic potential of the renewable energy (RE) industry:

  • Barriers for permitting are a primary source of delay and result in significant costs for developers and society
  • Lack of clarity and transparency in existing regulation or development of new policies continues to result in significant costs and delays to entry for (new) renewable technologies. This is caused by uncertainty surrounding implementation of governments’ commitments towards support for RE, competing government objectives at times, as well as costly and lengthy consultation processes
  • Grid connection costs and grid access uncertainty are key issues

The RE-DELAYS project, commissioned by IEA-RETD to 3E together and London Economics International (LEI), investigates the cost of regulatory delays in the development of new renewable energy projects. The report presents country case studies for France, Ontario (Canada), Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA), accompanied by an economic cost model and user guide. This allows users to perform their own project-specific assessments with individual parameters/assumptions.

The report has the following recommendations for policy makers:

  • Streamline the regulatory processes by creating a one-stop shop with simplified rules for applications
  • Increase accountability for decision making processes at the regulatory/governmental level, for example in the form of pre-determined fines associated with not achieving set milestones
  • Link the level of incentive such as a feed in tariff (FIT) to regulatory delay
  • Define clear procedures and cost impact assessment of appeal processes
  • Inform the public about benefits and risks of RE and encourage consultative mechanisms to share concerns

Dive into the detailed results of the study by downloading the full report.